The environment and the way we protect, manage and use it is multi-faceted. So too are the laws that apply to it.
Environmental law can be complex, but with the right advice it doesn’t need to be.
Our environmental law specialists will help you navigate the regulatory framework to achieve your desired outcomes.
Local Government and Regulation
For all but one year of Govett Quilliam's 130 year existence, we have provided legal services to local authorities.
The experience we have gained has given GQ a unique and specialised knowledge of local government law.
Our resource management specialists have significant experience and expertise advising and representing clients in all aspects of resource management law.
We advise a variety of clients, including property developers, community groups, individuals and local authorities on all Resource Management Act 1991 processes, from consent applications and plan changes, through to representing clients in mediation, Council hearings and Environment Court appeals, and Board of Inquiry processes.
NPDC’s award winning e-plan – a true professional partnership. We made the decision to modernise our district plan, which meant a complete rebuild. Therefore getting front end legal input that understood our vision from the outset was crucial. Lauren and GQ have worked alongside us all the way, helping us to develop the vision, the strategic framework, structure, style and content of our plan. What stood out for me was their collaborative approach and their desire to understand our vision and objective to embrace the technological platform we were building. This has helped us deliver a plan that is not just digital, but ultimately more accessible to the community and one that translates their aspirations into clear and simple planning provisions
I have used Lauren Wallace and Rebecca Eaton of Govett Quilliam on two occasions to assist with court proceedings relating to weathertightness disputes. Their knowledge of the Building Act, professionalism and negotiating skills were outstanding and I would have no hesitation in using them again if the need arises.
Lauren and her team skillfully guided us through the preparation of the material required for the Notified Marine and Discharge Consent processes. They assisted with the preparation of evidence, managed conferencing with experts, submitters and the EPA and provided guidance, leadership and oversight for the Board of Inquiry hearing process. Lauren’s expertise with the EEZ Act, her familiarity with the processes to be undertaken and her skills and experience as legal counsel in a hearing process ensured that Tamarind achieved the outcome that we had aimed for. We would have no hesitation in engaging Lauren and her team again in the future.
Our Environment and Planning Specialists
Lauren joined Govett Quilliam in 2006 and became a partner in 2010. Lauren leads our Environment and Planning Team. She has previously worked as a barrister in a specialist environmental law chambers in Auckland and also for a leading local government firm in Nelson.
Lauren is a highly respected lawyer, specialising in environmental and local government law, construction law and civil litigation.
Lauren has been involved in a variety of environmental and local government matters throughout her career. She has a broad client base and acts for local and regional authorities, individuals and families, national corporations, local businesses, iwi and PSGE, and community organisations. Her key areas of practice include:
- assisting to draft and provide advice on district and regional plan provisions;
- project management of resource consent projects, including; with respect to large residential and coastal subdivisions; commercial developments and industrial facilities;
- minerals and petroleum development, including assisting to obtain consents for offshore installations in the coastal marine area and EEZ and with respect to access arrangements and iwi consultation;
- acting for affected parties in opposition to consent applications;
- advising on all aspects of the Resource Management Act and Local Government Acts;
- assisting iwi to develop environmental plans, strategies and guidelines;
- assisting developer clients to formulate and implement consultation strategies;
- appearances and advice with respect to Council Hearings, Environment Court, High Court and Board of Inquiry processes;
- prosecution and enforcement; and
- assisting to draft and providing advice on local government policies and bylaws, including; Local Alcohol Policies, Gambling Policies and Development Contribution Policies
Lauren also regularly acts for our construction clients and has considerable experience in building law and with respect to construction contract disputes and weathertight homes claims.
Lauren’s civil litigation experience includes appearances in the District Court and High Court involving a range of contractual disputes, lease and property disputes, debt recovery, and judicial review proceedings. She is a skilled negotiator and enjoys helping clients to find the best solutions possible to resolve disputes quickly and cost effectively.
Outside of Govett Quilliam
Lauren is the founding member of the Taranaki branch of the Resource Management Law Association (and past president and secretary) and the honorary solicitor of the Friends of the Govett Brewster/Len Lye Centre and of Heritage Taranaki Incorporated. She is also a trustee on the Moturoa School Board of Trustees.
Lauren enjoys mountain biking, skiing and travel but generally spends most of her spare time as Mum to her young sons. She is a keen supporter of the arts and New Zealand music and a self-confessed "foodie".
Rebecca joined GQ in 2016, after working in the Resource Management team at a large corporate law firm in Auckland for two years. She is an associate and practices primarily in resource management, as well as in employment and civil litigation.
Rebecca has experience advising and representing clients on a range of resource management matters including consent and plan change applications. Rebecca has also assisted both private and public sector clients in relation to various District Plan reviews. In addition, Rebecca has experience advising and representing clients in relation to the marine consent process under the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act.
Rebecca has experience advising clients on a range of local government issues including bylaws and policies, road stopping and Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act matters.
Rebecca also advises both employers and employees in employment law matters including individual employment agreements, restructures and redundancies, personal grievances, disciplinary meetings, mediations and hearings before the Employment Relations Authority.
Outside of Govett Quilliam
Rebecca loves making the most of the beautiful Taranaki coastline and New Plymouth's thriving café scene with her family and friends. She enjoys living an active lifestyle and in her spare time can usually be found walking her dog at the beach or on one of New Plymouth's many walkways.
Maree has over 25 years legal secretarial experience having worked with several law firms in both New Plymouth and Christchurch.
She has a wealth of accumulated knowledge that she uses every day in her Legal Support role with the Dispute Resolution, Employment, Resource Management and Family Teams here at Govett Quilliam.
She enjoys her job and is always approachable and personable. She takes pride in her work, appreciates and respects the people she works with, and is quick to participate in office banter.
Outside of Govett Quilliam
Outside of work Maree lives on a farm property with her family and is always striving for the elusive “work-life-me balance”.
Get in touch
Examples of our work
New Plymouth District Council as part of their e-Plan Making Team on the development of the Council’s award winning draft New Plymouth District Plan. The proposed New Plymouth District Plan is the first plan in New Zealand to be drafted in an e-plan format.
First Gas in relation to the development of model network utilities provisions for District and Regional Plans with a national working group composed of a broad range of network utility operators, including electricity generation and distribution, roading, rail, telecommunications, gas and water services providers.
Fonterra Co-operative Group in relation to the successful renewal of discharge and water take consents at Fonterra’s Whareroa site.
Te Kahui O Taranaki Trust in relation to the development of Coastal Development Design Guidelines – Tiaki Tangaroa ki Uta Tangaroa ki Tai in the South Taranaki District Council.
Egmont Refuse and Recycling Limited
Egmont Refuse and Recycling Limited in relation to a non-complying consent application to relocate and expand its industrial recycling facility in Hawera and its subsequent successful Environment Court appeal.
Links Coastal Development Limited
Links Coastal Development Limited in relation to the successful application for subdivision consent to allow for the subdivision of the proposed Oceanside development, including a subsequent Environment Court appeal regarding the conditions of consent.
Tamarind Taranaki Limited
Tamarind Taranaki Limited in relation to the successful applications for marine consent and marine discharge consent for the drilling of up to five sidetrack development wells and discharges from a drilling rig offshore in the Tui field. These proceedings were the first to be heard by a Board of Inquiry following the amendments to the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act 2012 in 2017.
Taranaki Regional Council
Taranaki Regional Council in relation to an Environment Court appeal on the proposed South Taranaki District Plan concerning air discharges from oil and gas facilities.